Upon publication, Vigdis Hjorth's new novel Repetition received rave reviews, and critics are calling it her best novel yet. It was nominated for The Brage Prize for best work of fiction and The Booksellers Award. With the nominations to The Critics and The Youth Critics awards, Repetition becomes the only adult novel published in 2023 to be nominated to all major the literary awards.
Vigdis Hjorth has previously won the Critics Award three times, for Will and Testament, Long live the posthorn! and the middle grade novel Jørgen + Anne is true. Vigdis Hjorth won The Bookseller Award in 2016, for her massive breakthrough novel Will and Testament. This was also her international breakthrough, and since 2016 she has been nominated to prestigious international awards like US National Book Award (2021) and The International Booker Prize (2023). Her books are translated into 33 languages.
Will and Testament meets Fifteen Years in this new novel by Vigdis Hjorth.
She is a grown woman going for a walk in the dark woods, with her safe dog. She’s also a sixteen-year-old. The view the grown woman offers her younger self, is tender and beautiful. It’s about being kissed for the first time, the incredibly clumsy, funny, and painful act of doing it for the first time, it’s about feeling the intoxication spread throughout your body at a party with some boys in a terraced house, about running through the woods to prepare for a marathon, about feeling a huge hunger and thirst in your young life.
All while her mother watches over the young girl like a hawk, her father keeps away and holds a low profile. The father’s distance is notable, the mother’s close watch involves control that is normally unheard of. Because, as the novel reveals on its first page, there is a big and dangerous secret in their house.
English sample translation and synopsis available.
The Critics Award's Jury Statement
In her latest novel, Vigdis Hjorth returns to some of her authorship's most important motifs and events, in order to renew and deepen her thinking around the questions she explores.
It is about abuse, about being a child, a teenager and an adult, it is about truth, about writing, about reality, memory, and not least: about the courage to acknowledge what one's own life has been shaped by.
After Will and Testament was published in 2016, Hjorth's novels have been central to some of the most extensive literary debates in this country. Repetition is alert and active, also in relation to the meta-reflections around books's relationship to reality.
In contrast to in previous novels, this has a first person narrator who speaks openly. This way the novel works, both through form and content, with questions about truth and method.
While the author shows existential weight, and often leans towards complicated philosophical questions, Repetition reaches a wide readership.
The winner of the Critics award is announced March 7th.